Foals are one of the best bands in Britain. They’ve improved and matured on every album and each release has a different sound.
For this they’ve lost a bass player but replaced him with a synth, the backbone that supplies giving the music more of a groove; a lot, in fact. In some ways it’s a throwback to the earlier math rock days but that synth bass gives the songs a fluidity the earlier material lacked; the guitars can be jagged but the rhythm is always smooth. Being better musicians and more skilled at their craft helps, too. Their music was always complex and the synths add more depth.
They do have some real bass though: at least we can’t believe the epic bassline in Syrups is not a human, though three minutes in it shifts gear and becomes a slicker beast.
Foals don’t do bad, or even average. We’ve played Ten Fe (see this page) more this week, but that’s because they’re new, and we expect Foals to be good. Why you wouldn’t like Foals is a mystery, combining as they do the dancier end of indie and the guitar end with classy songwriter and an inspired lead singer.
Opener Moonlight is slower but Exits is a massively beefy song, not unlike Tears For Fears. White Onions follows, the opening sections straight from the band’s debut Antidotes before becoming more frantic. In Degrees is classic Foals, except the bassline, clearly synth and rooted more in 70s disco than anything. Cafe D’athens mixes world percussion sound and “ooos” with a faint drum n bass beat, closer Sunday and I’m Done With the World (& It’s Done With Me) both peak Foals and Yannis Phillippakis showing off his vocals.
Possibly their best album, and only part one — a second album follows later this year. What a band.
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